The Siren Call of the Next Best Thing

The Siren Call of the Next Best ThingAgility, Intrapreneurship, Sustainability, Crowdfunding, Artificial intelligence. Have you been hearing these terms a lot this year?  Is your organization in active process of pivoting (another trendy word) to these new best means to gain competitive advantage?

These ideas, of course, are not the full laundry list of the new and better ways of conducting your business. Depending on which business article you read, you’ll find that the gurus have hundreds of takes on the most important new things to adopt in your business. Continue reading

The Danger of Returning to Better Times

The Danger of Returning to Better Times“This company used to be known for its great customer service and its caring attitude toward its employees,” lamented Tina. “We had better benefits, greater job security, and more respect from management, and the company got really great service for its customers as a result. We need to go back to the way it was.”

We’re hearing a lot of these laments lately. Companies, governments, and all types of organizations are changing. The complaints are often about abandoned non-verbal contracts between employers and employees, about lost cultural norms, and about ethical issues emerging as the change occurred.  And the knee jerk desire is to ‘return to better times’. Continue reading

De-Politicizing the Work Environment

De-Politicizing-the-Work-EnvironmentThis letter to a national news columnist describes an employee’s stress over what he describes as near-constant political discussion at work, not surprising, perhaps, given its prominence in the media.

The columnist offers advice to the employee about how to even-handedly discuss with fellow employees a preference to not hear the political rhetoric, and even to force the attention of the company’s Human Resources department if he feels the situation is stressful enough. Continue reading

If I Only Had the Nerve

If I Only Had the NerveFor the Tin Man it was a heart, for the Scarecrow a brain, and what the Cowardly Lion wished for was nerve.  He wanted the courage to stand up for himself, for things he believed in.  He wanted to be able to roar in the face of blustery bullies like the Wizard of Oz or the Wicked Witch of the West.

There are times these days when it can feel a little like we’re all Cowardly Lions, when roaring has unacceptable consequences. Continue reading

A Spoonful of Empathy

A Spoonful of EmpathyWe’re in a world right now of ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’, of super-charged words like ‘hate’ and ‘bigotry’ and ‘distrust’ and ‘fake’.  Of people calling each other out instead of bringing each other in.  Of pointing fingers in lieu of pointing the way.

We tend to put this negativity in a corner as a political phenomenon that can somehow be walled off from our workplaces.  But take a look around you and ask yourselves some simple questions. Continue reading

The Right (and Imperative) to Disconnect

offlineThe big eye roll commenced as soon as the news was made public that the French had enacted one more law to ‘protect’ workers, adding to what many view as the French penchant for numbing their own economy with overly zealous social reforms.  Companies of more than 50 employees now must set up hours when workers are not supposed to send or respond to emails, normally during evenings and weekends, in an effort to aid work/life balance. Continue reading

How Does a Leader Approach 2017?

Business plan for 2017We made it through a tough year.  2016 was marked by turmoil of types and impact that have shaken a sense of ‘normalcy’.  In the world, the political and economic upheaval of Brexit, the brutal war in Syria, the flood of refugees that added to destabilizing political situations in many countries, and the reality of terrorism.  At home, a long and bitter campaign and a transition of presidents that promises to bring unknown impact to our lives. Continue reading

The Altruism Revolution

The Altruism RevolutionEckhart Tolle, the author of A New Earth, tells a story of a businessman who spent two years of intense stress developing a new product that would make a lot of money for his company.  He succeeded in developing the highly successful product, but Tolle questions the definition of success: Continue reading

How Integrity Drifts

Business People. Successful Business Partner Shaking Hands in thWhen news comes out about the bad decisions made by companies like Takata, accused of sacrificing safety to profits in its airbags, and even more recently, Volkswagen, where employees knowingly colluded in deceiving emissions testing equipment, we shake our heads, wag our fingers at these deviants, and proclaim with certainty, “It couldn’t happen here.” Continue reading

Leadership for the Nimble Organization

active girlThe word ‘agile’ gets tossed around a lot these days among business gurus.  Although it achieved fame in the software development industry, referring to a method for rapid software development, it has found its way into the business lexicon to denote an ability to move quickly and easily as the business environment shifts.  The trouble is, that ‘quickly and easily’ is pretty elusive for a lot of organizations. Continue reading